English, Department of


Date of this Version



College English, Vol. 5, No. 4 (Jan., 1944), pp. 180-186


Copyright (c) 1944 National Council of Teachers of English. Used by permission.


Poetry is the most beautiful form of human speech. The human race has always had its song and always will have it. It may not be expected to die out. In our present century, however, its status has altered. There are relatively fewer hearers or readers of it than in the long stretches of the past and fewer noted poets. Professors offer courses in the great poetry of the world, and one hopes that they will continue to do so. Poetry societies exist on campuses in great numbers. Prizes are offered to encourage young poets and avenues of publication opened to them in local magazines. What has happened to poetry to bring its lapse from its old prestige? Various explanations have been brought forward by various critics; but I find myself agreeing with none of them. My own seems to be different still.